New Orleans hospital flips floor plan to survive natural disasters

A New Orleans Veterans Affairs hospital destroyed by Hurricane Katrina will rebuild to safeguard against future natural disasters, flipping the typical floor plan upside down, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. In the new facility, called Project Legacy, the emergency room and utilities will be above the 20-foot flood line, while lower levels will contain its less essential features, according to the article. In the event of flooding, reception areas and administrative offices would be at greater risk than kitchens, patient rooms and the power plant. "We flipped what you would typically see, so that not only are all the services coming to the building--heating, cooling, water--on the fourth floor, but also supplies and removal of waste move back and forth on the upper concourse," said lead designer Doug Parris. Article